Afternoon Tea Connoisseur

Thank you all for your lovely and kind words for my last post. It’s a fairly rubbish situation, I won’t lie, but such is life.

Having a marathon to look forward (yes I am really looking forward to it weirdly enough) and having a training focus really helps. It means weekends are pretty much spent running, seeing friends/family, and eating. Very good uses of my time, I’m sure you’ll agree 😉 No sitting around on my own feeling sorry for myself.

This weekend was good fun. I had parkrun Saturday morning and when I looked out the window at the sunny, cloudless sky I was very happy. That was until I stepped outside to give Alfie a quick walk before I left. It was freezing! OK, not freezing, but the wind had a nasty bite to it.

I wrapped up warm to help set-up and then reluctantly peeled off my layers at the last possible minute.IMG_0370

Brrr! My legs were chilly! My friend Mike turned up without a coat in just shorts and a T-shirt and I felt very sorry for him. He was jumping around desperate to get warm. The weather can be very deceptive!

Anyway off we went. It was a frustrating run. It felt great, I pushed hard and I thought I was running faster than before…but I wasn’t. I’m consistent at least but I just cannot get past 21 minutes – not on the current course anyway. To be honest, I’m not that bothered as being near 21 minutes is good enough for me as I haven’t been there in a while and my 5k time is right at the bottom of my running wishes at the moment (keeping injury free, enjoyment and marathon training are my priorities right now). But it still irks me!

IMG_0367 I did get to wear my new Nike running top though so that was nice. It fits like a dream and is a really nice cut. Also nice that I coincidentally have a matching hair band – small things 🙂 And despite being freezing at the start, I started getting really hot on the second mile so I was glad to have worn what I did.

I saw my parents in the afternoon (after quite a cathartic deep clean in the house – very refreshing!) and my dad and me went for another nice walk along Stokes Bay with the dogs. They’re all very good after the walk at just jumping straight into the boot of the car…except Dylan.IMG_0368

Dylan, bless him, is not what you’d describe as an athletic dog…the others will zoom across the fields and chase birds, while Dylan will trot beside you gently. He’ll keep looking up at you as if to say “are we done yet?” And at the end of the walk he just lies down and rolls over when we try to get him into the car. Very cute, but a little annoying!

In the evening I saw some friends and we just hung out having a very easy evening chatting and watching Britain’s Got Talent. It was a lovely, relaxed evening. I headed back home afterwards, rather than stay at my parents (sort of got to get a grip with spending Saturday night’s alone at some point!)

This meant a new route for my long run on Sunday morning. I had 17 miles planned and decided to psychologically break it up so it didn’t seem so scary. I ran towards where my local parkrun is held (Netley Abbey) which is about 4 miles, ran around there for a bit as it’s very pretty and off-roady, then ran back past my house to find another seven miles. It almost felt like two runs if that makes sense. It also meant that on my pre-run walk with Alfie I could leave a bottle of water in a plastic bag in some bushes near my house.


Though I actually didn’t feel thirsty at all during the bulk of the run so I left it there. It was literally only the last mile or so that I fancied any water and passed it again just at the end so it worked out nicely.

IMG_0375 The run felt really good and the change of route was a nice change. Though it had more hills than the beach run I do at my parent’s. This meant a far quicker start as I went downhill at the beginning, then slower coming back. Despite my best efforts to keep things consistently slow I just couldn’t get to grips with what I should be running with all the elevation changes. So instead I kept an eye on my heart rate and effort level.

(Ave. pace 7.59mins/mile)


I only started to find the run tough towards the end, probably 14 miles onwards. It didn’t help that I had changed my route last minute and was having to mentally work out where to run and the mental arithmetic involved (the simplest maths becomes very tricky on a long run). My legs felt tired but not niggly or broken, so I pushed through and finished strong.

IMG_0373 Cat photo bombing!

My lovely short tan lines are reappearing again. Good job I have no holidays in sight requiring me to wear a bikini!

I enjoyed such a luxuriously hot shower after the run. It sounds weird but, as hot as I was running, there is nothing more lovely that a hot shower afterwards!

I stole borrowed my parent’s Nutribullet so I could have a post-long run smoothie. Unfortunately I had limited ingredients so it was just kale, blueberries, summer berries, almond milk and the Nutribullet super powder mix.


There you have Smoothie Sludge. There are other descriptions but I’ll leave it to your imagination… I’m not sure why it turned so brown (all the dark berries?) but there you have it. It was edible, that’s all I’ll say. I hope my body appreciated the goodness at least! I wasn’t hungry at all so it was a struggle to drink (spoon?).

My mum popped over to go for a walk with Alfie and me which was lovely. I always find a leisurely walk after a long run really helps keep things loose. It’s tempting to sit down and stay there all day but from past experience I know this doesn’t help. Plus, who wants to be inside on such a sunny day?

Runger appeared with a vengeance suddenly as we headed back from our walk. This was handy because we’d planned to have afternoon tea. We went to a different tea room this time as unfortunately our plan to go to my local and favourite tea room, Elsie’s in Botley, had a private party.

We went to The Tea Party (another tea room in Lee-On-Solent). The perk of this place is they have a licence to sell alcohol so we had a cheeky glass of Prosecco to toast the cake occasion.


The Tea Party is lovely and quirky with its decoration and the range of cakes looked delicious.

IMG_0380We both ordered afternoon tea. I went for ham and mustard sandwiches and a slice of lemon meringue cake (my mum had cheese and chutney sandwiches and toffee apple cake).

IMG_0386 I like to think of myself as somewhat of an afternoon tea connoisseur having done this now a fair few times so I feel I am a good judge on these things. The sandwiches were lovely. Lots of cheese for my mum and thick tasty ham for me. The scones were warm and crumbly but smaller than other tea rooms I’ve been too, and we had a small pot of cream to share between us. For someone who struggles with sharing food, this was annoying.

My cake was absolutely divine. Very light and lemony. However the slice was small. Now perhaps this is the Cake Monster within but my mum also commented that they looked small. She took hers home though in the end whereas I polished mine off very easily and quickly. Very nice, but slightly disappointing.

I probably should find better ways to refuel after long runs, but this is a far more fun way to do it!

What do you look for in a good tea room (and/or afternoon tea)?

Have you had any smoothie disasters?

How do you stay hydrated during long runs?

14 Replies to “Afternoon Tea Connoisseur”

  1. Great to hear you had a lovely weekend Anna! Sometimes the weather can be deceptive and I’ve been caught out a few times too. It looks like a summers day, but the blustery wind makes you feel freezing cold.

    I really like the look of your afternoon tea, but a big door-step wedge of cake is a must in my books. 🙂
    Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes recently posted…Making the Most of ItMy Profile

  2. Glad you had a good weekend 🙂 Running and cake are always good.
    I agree with you about breaking up a run too- for my last 20 miler I did a 10 mile loop, back to home where I had left some water, and then did 5 miles out, 5 miles back to make it exactly 20- it really helped that I only ever had 10 as the biggest number in my head.
    I love for that afternoon tea that you can choose your sandwiches- I always (of course) have the veggie ones, but if they have egg or something then I won’t eat them so it’s a waste.
    Maria @ runningcupcake recently posted…A marathon weekendMy Profile

  3. Dylan sounds like one of my mum & dads dogs, Nina! When I take her on a walk of more than 3 miles, she sometimes just stops to lie down and won’t move haha. She looks up at you like ‘but I’ve only got little legs!’.

    A good afternoon tea for me has one of each thing so you can share evenly – recent ones I’ve been on have had only 1 of certain cakes so we have to cut it in half or sacrifice something. Not fair 🙁 And plenty of jam & cream is a must!
    Helen recently posted…Greater Manchester Marathon – the difficult second marathonMy Profile

    1. Aww bless Nina!
      I am ABSOLUTELY with you on afternoon teas that make you share cake. This is why I’m not a huge fan of the hotel/more posh asfternoon teas with their teeny tiny cakes and pastries as there’s usually a selection to share between you. No no NO! One cake each.
      AnnaTheApple recently posted…Don’t fear the fearMy Profile

  4. I am rather jealous of all your delicious-looking afternoon teas. I never seem to have anyone to go with. I’m friends with a picky bunch! I agree with Helen about what I want from an afternoon tea – that is definitely my own cakes…not having to cut them up to share!
    Really good idea to break the long run up into two runs from home. I might steal this idea for my next long run…
    Mary recently posted…Do NOT underestimate the cross-trainerMy Profile

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